English Major with a Concentration in Creative Writing


It's a pleasure to announce the new English Major with a Concentration in Creative Writing, a major that provides students with a solid grounding in literature as well as advanced study in creative writing. Over the last four decades, Penn has gradually established a premier undergraduate creative writing curriculum that has included courses in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, writing for children, journalistic writing, and review, taught by our nationally prominent faculty. As a major interested in writing, you'll be able to take at least three workshops as part of the curriculum, finding out where your creative interests lie, whether in reviewing live performances of modern dance or rock and roll, or transforming the raw emotive material of life into well-crafted and alluring short stories, poems, personal essays, scripts, or documenting in bold non-fiction strokes the resonant landscape of our time and place. And you'll be able to study with eminent writers who have also earned a reputation as being terrific teachers.

For a list of creative writing workshops offered, please click here. You'll be able to read the descriptions of a wide variety of courses that attract over 700 students over the academic year from across the university. As a major, you'll be able to discuss what makes good writing not only with other English majors, but with engineering students as well, and Wharton undergraduates, and nursing students, each of them bringing to the class a different perspective, a wholly new set of experiences, creating out of the many voices a small and integrated writing community, supportive and helpful.

Interested? The English Major with a Concentration in Creative Writing consists of 6 core courses in the English major, the Junior Research Seminar, at least 3 creative writing courses (more if you prefer), literature courses in different categories and literary periods, and electives, either creative writing workshops or literature courses, or courses from other departments which have a bearing on literary study.

For complete details on the English major, please visit the English Department website for information on "Options for Majoring".


Critical Writing Seminars (English 001-009, 011-012, and 125) do not count toward the major. Please direct any questions to Julia Bloch, Director of Creative Writing (blochj@writing.upenn.edu).


For profiles of our interesting faculty members, click here.

The current faculty includes Dick Polman (journalism), Kitsi Watterson (fiction and nonfiction), Charles Bernstein (poetry and poetics), Lise Funderburg (nonfiction), Marion Kant (travel writing), Deborah Burnham (poetry), Anthony DeCurtis (popular culture reviewing and feature writing), Liz Van Doren (writing for children), Kathleen DeMarco (screenwriting), Paul Hendrickson (nonfiction), Max Apple (fiction writing), Bob Perelman (poetry), Gregory Djanikian (poetry), Beth Kephart (nonfiction) Jay Kirk (nonfiction) Peter Tarr (journalism), Robert Strauss (journalism), Lorene Cary (fiction and memoir), Karen Rile (fiction), Rick Nichols (journalism), Kenneth Goldsmith (experimental writing) and Herman Beavers (poetry).

We hope to see you in class!